There is no good in the river that runs dry.
Maura didn't know why this old saying came to mind again and again this day - she had left the river days ago and didn't expect to see another for several days to come. Still, it was an ever present thought, even as she picked her way through the undergrowth of the Great Forest. Her son Nathan, who had been raised far away from his mother's homeland, struggled behind her.
"Mother, how did you ever live in this place?"
Maura smiled at his question. "My son, when the Great Forest has given you life, as it gave life to me and to my ancestors, you come to love it as you come to love your own mother."
"Oh, I see. You love the forest because it is difficult, just as I love you because you are difficult!"
Maura laughed as the branch she had been holding swung back, filling Nathan's mouth with bitter tasting foliage.
"You will see. The Great Forest provides what you need when it is needed. Remember when you balked at leaving without provisions for the entire month's journey and I said it would be unnecessary? Have you noticed that your meals since we entered the forest have been a bit unusual?"
"Well, yes, but Mother, how could I expect them to be the same as we have at home? There is a cook there, and I never taste your culinary umm delights."
"Perhaps this lesson would be better learned if you could not rely on me. We shall see what the elders have to say about giving you to the Great Forest when we arrive."
"I think I'll pass."
"I think you won't have a choice!" she laughed.
*This is a bit of a teaser. My next post will either be this story or the beginning of a serial based on this post.